Tyre protection chains (TPCs) are not a new solution to extending tyre life in quarries and on mine sites. In fact, worldwide demand for chains has more than quadrupled in the last five years, and with a looming tyre shortage, this rise is expected to continue. Peter Nuttall, the managing director of RUD Chains, explains that ?like all other long-term capital investments?, TPCs will deliver cost savings and production improvements that far outweigh their purchase price.
?One of our customers saved more than $1 million in tyre costs over five years on just two machines,? he says. ?And this is not an isolated case. For over 25 years, RUD Chains have been an institution in many quarries ?and mines across Australia. We find that even our most cynical new clients quickly become TPC advocates when they start to see the results, for example, extended tyre service life of up to 90 per cent, fuel reduction costs between six per cent and 10 per cent, load volume increases of up to 16 per cent, and reductions of over 77 per cent in tyre-related downtime.?
RUD has similarly impressive performance data from hundreds of quarries and open cut mining sites across Australia, with conditions ranging from low-abrasion iron ore in the Pilbara to coal, basalt, granite and limestone, and more aggressive nickel, gold, copper and diamonds. ?Because we are the Australian subsidiary of a global company that has been at the forefront of the industry for over 140 years,? Peter explains, ?we are able to service our customers on a personal and local level, and we are also able to leverage off our global resources to provide product solutions directly in line with our customer?s needs.?
The FELS Gigant Plus X19 is one such solution. It is a close mesh ?extra heavy-duty? TPC that has been proven in Australia and around the world as the best performing chain for hard rock quarry applications. RUD have been providing protection to face loader tyres at Boral?s West Burleigh operation for over a decade and have recently fitted a further four chains to their Caterpillar 988G wheel loader.
?We see our long term relationship with RUD Chains more as a partnership than supplier and customer. RUD?s product keeps our tyre costs down, a major expense to any quarry operation. With guaranteed production, our return on investment for the chains is exceptional,? said Neil Bellamy, the quarry manager at Boral West Burleigh.
As impressive as these improved cost and productivity results are, to truly be a complete modern-day solution for quarry mining, TPCs need to contribute to a broader set of mine operator priorities, in particular safety and environmental considerations.
Fortunately, RUD?s TPCs offer noticeable results in these areas as well.
TPCs improve safety, as enhanced traction substantially increases the control an operator has over their machine and eliminates the dangers involved with unexpected sliding. The advanced protection offered by TPCs also prevents sudden death tyre blowouts, which can not only cause injury to the operator and any staff that may be working in close proximity, but can also cause substantial damage to the machine.
TPCs also help to reduce a quarry?s carbon footprint. With less fuel being burned, fewer emissions are produced by mine machinery, and with decreased tyre wear, the carbon footprint of tyre manufacturing and disposal is reduced.
With the ongoing growth of new operations and expanded production in the mining and quarry sectors, TPCs will continue to become more commonplace as a standard tool for managing profits, safety and environmental commitments.
Source: RUD Chains